He Pataka Korero

The New Zealand Wars, and the land confiscations that followed, were a period of rapid and profound change. In Tauranga, a staggering transfer of wealth occurred in just a few short years. With the smell of smoke and gunpowder still lingering in the air, the land we live on today was measured and portioned by Tauranga’s first surveyors. Their letters, which are held by Tauranga City Libraries, shed light on Tauranga Moana both then and now.

In anticipation of the New Zealand Wars commemoration on Wednesday, 28 October, our heritage and research experts have put together this short documentary linking the surveyors' letters to primary and secondary resources within Ngā Wāhi Rangahau at Tauranga Library.

Featuring Tauranga City Libraries archivist, Abby Wharne, and heritage specialist, Harley Couper, this film will introduce you to a time of hope, greed, anger and despair, via the letters of Tauranga’s first land surveyors. How do these letters help us understand Tauranga today—it’s landscape, cityscape and people? What other evidence and resources can we use to fill in this picture? And, lest we forget, or pretend otherwise, how does the library make sure these historic documents will be available for the generations to come?

Thanks for watching.



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